Back to Work. Cough Cough.
Monday was the day that my equestrian routine was to be re-established. There were no excuses – the sun was shining and it was a pleasant 6C with no wind. I made my way up to the farm in the middle of the afternoon. My plan was to do some easy dressage-y loosening up stuff with Flurry and some groundwork with Aero. I need to improve his responses when I’m asking for stuff at a distance from him – forwards, sideways, stop, come towards me, go away from me, move his front end, move his back end. That sort of thing. He’ll do it all at liberty now, but I find that I need to be close to him to be sure he understands me.
I caught both horse and led them from their field. A strange, rhythmic noise seemed to be coming from my right hand side, where Aero was. Was there something caught on a hoof and making the noise as he walked? I watched and couldn’t see anything. And then he coughed. We walked about another ten steps and he coughed again. It turned out that he strange, rhythmic noise was him wheezing as he breathed.
Oh crap, I thought.
I checked him over carefully when I had tied them both up. He seemed perky enough; his coat looked good; his breathing was normal; he was alert and interested. The wheeze had stopped – I guess he had cleared his airways when he coughed. There was a slight discharge from his nostrils but no green or yellow guck. When I spoke to Alexandrine, she said she noticed him coughing on Saturday, although not much. I had visited them on Sunday and he hadn’t coughed at all, but there was no doubt that he was now coughing quite seriously. I wondered if there had been a particularly dusty bale of hay, but she said no, nothing out of the ordinary.
Before I panic (COPD!), I’ll treat it as a cold. The forecast is for snow, so he’s now rugged up against the weather. He seems better today – no coughing, either at feeding time this morning or when I was there to put an under-rug on. Fingers crossed.
And Flurry? I’m happy to say we did about forty minutes of flatwork as planned. He was reasonably supple. And well behaved, if a little lazy.
So at least I was 50% successful in achieving my goals.